Questions from a fearful writer

My Montclair Memoir1 group Zoomed yesterday, and a comment at the end tugged me.

One of the members–I’ll call him John–is, of course, writing a memoir. The piece John shared yesterday was shorter than usual. The snippets we all share are typically 5-7 pages of either a chapter of our memoir or some part we’re struggling with. John’s last few submissions have been two pages of details and summary, written with a specific purpose in mind. Yesterday, John became self-conscious of that purpose.

“I want to use them as blog posts.  They’re not actual parts from my memoir. ,” John said.  “What do you think of using these as blog posts? Is it okay to send them and still be a part of this group?”

I can’t believe he asked us that question.

He doubted himself as a writer. John’s memoir is in that dreaded editing stage of revising per the editor, which is further along than I am in my current work. How could he think to ask us, to ask me, if he could still be a member in our critique group?

We gasped in disbelief: Of course!

How dare he think otherwise? John deserves to be there as much as any of us. We are fortunate to have found each other. Not everyone in our eight-member group is published now nor wants to be published now; we write our stories because we need to write our story.

Our group’s organizer has a mantra: If you write, you are a writer.

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